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Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Freeverse Announces Mystery RPG
9:19 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Freeverse recently released issue two of MontyMail, their company newsletter, which contains a wealth of information regarding their products and upcoming plans. Readers subscribing to the newsletter may have noticed a bit of news in the 'Coming Soon' section, where Freeverse announces a secret game by the codename Again? that they plan on publishing sometime in 2003. While details are scarce, they allude that fans of Fallout and other sci-fi RPGs should be interested in this one.

Some of the details they were willing to divulge include the following:

  • It's a roleplaying game, but without magic, set in the mid-twentieth century.
  • Though the game doesn't have magic, it does have exciting enchanted weapons and armor.
  • It's set during a time when guns, grenades, and other cool weapons were easy to find.
  • Unlike Fallout, civilization hasn't yet been destroyed by nukes, since they haven't been designed yet.
Also announced in the newsletter is the upcoming release of XPression, the icon/theme builder for OS X, which was announced at the 2002 Macworld New York expo. Watch for more info on that soon.

For those not subscribed to the newsletter, Freeverse has an online version available, along with subscription information, a recipe from spokesperson Jen, and an offer of free license codes for published jokes.

Freeverse - MontyMail, Issue #2

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IMG Reviews Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin
12:25 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of Battlefront's recently released strategy game, Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin.

Here's a clip from the review:

Starting from scratch, Combat Mission is unlike any game that's been seen on the Mac to date. Yes, strategy games sell decently, the World War II perspective adding almost nothing new, especially in the wake of hits like Medal of Honor: Allied Assault and Return to Castle Wolfenstein. Combat Mission has fused the two themes together, the most similar game to it being Microsoft's Close Combat series, which used real-time strategy with combat-realistic elements such as routed forces and simple unit emotions encoded into the game.

Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin has trumped the Close Combat games in almost every respect, the new ruler of the playground ensuring that Microsoft's lunch money never actually goes towards the purchase of food. Similar in appearance only from the first glance when players are asked to position their units using the classic overhead view, the differences begin to spawn in what turns out to be an extensively updated version of Close Combat pumped full of barely-legal steroid-esque substances and stepping over Close Combat's twitching body after stealing its giggling, attractive and personable prom date.

Be sure to check out the complete review.

IMG Review: Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin
Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin

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Pangea Posts Bugdom 2 Strategy Guide
12:18 PM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

Brian Greenstone of Pangea Software has just posted a free strategy guide for the company's most recent release, Bugdom 2.

The guide, which lays out each level's objectives and features detailed maps and even cheats (!), is extremely helpful to players who might have gotten stuck somewhere in the game's many levels:

Many people have a hard time finding the marble. The passage to the marble is narrow, but there is a line of acorns marking the entrance. Just keep going to the end of the passage and the marble will be there.
This news must come as relief to a number of players out there who've gotten stumped by the game's many challenging puzzles. Click on the link below to check out the guide.

Pangea Software's Bugdom 2 Strategy Guide
Pangea Software
Bugdom 2
Buy Bugdom 2

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French Touch Releases WaterRace Source Code
12:18 PM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

Carlos Camacho, of Macintosh programming website iDevGames, announced in a press release Tuesday that European Macintosh developers French Touch have released the full source code of their off-shore racing game WaterRace.

The source code, written in the C/C++ programming language, is built around an OS 9-only low-level RAVE API, and incorporates many features found in modern computer games, including a physics engine, Quicktime-based MP3 playback, and even copy protection. From the press release:

"The source code of the game, though sparsely commented, is well-written and demonstrates how to implement a number of interesting features including (among many others) a physics engine, a low-level 3D engine, a pseudo-AI, MP3 playback (using QuickTime) and CD Protection." said Pierre-Olivier Latour. Confirming its commitment to being the driving force behind Macintosh game development, Editor-in-Chief of iDevGames also noted "iDevGames' annual Mac-only programming contest, uDevGame, was a great success in 2002, and we are releasing the source code to over forty games to the community. The release of the source code to WaterRace by Pierre-Olivier Latour is extremely generous and will greatly benefit many developers, as well as Macintosh gaming in general."
Game developers and programmers eager to learn from practical implementations of programming code should head over to iDevGames and check out the souce code in full. In tandem, IMG sister site MacGameFiles is hosting the WaterRace demo - click on the links below for access.

idevgames: WaterRace Source Code Press Release
MacGameFiles: WaterRace 1.0.1 Demo
French Touch

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Neverwinter Nights Expansion Q&A
9:19 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

HomeLan recently got a chance to talk with a number of Bioware employees about the upcoming Neverwinter Nights expansions, The Shadows of Undrentide. Bioware and FloodGate Entertainment are working together to create the expansion, which will have a brand new story along with loads of new content such as monsters, items, weapons, etc. The interview goes into this new content, as well as how the partnership between Bioware and Floodgate came to pass.

Here's a sample:

HomeLAN - What can we expect to see in terms of new locations and settings in Shadows of Undrentide?

Neurath and Ernst - The campaign starts in the Silver Marches, a cold frontier not terribly far from the city of Neverwinter. The hero is drawn into what seems to be a straightforward quest, but eventually discovers that they've stumbled into something much larger. Investigation takes our hero into the barren wastes of the Anauroch desert. The Anauroch was a green and verdant land that was long ago home to a race of powerful wizards called the Netheril. A disaster destroyed the Nertherese civilization, and turned their land to a desert waste. The ruins of the civilization lie hidden beneath the sand, protected by one of the most hostile environments in the Forgotten Realms.

HomeLAN - What new creatures and characters are you planning on creating for the game?

Neurath and Ernst - We'll be adding some new desert monsters to plague travelers in the Anauroch. Players will also meet the Bedine, nomadic tribes that wander the desert, and some great new monsters that take advantage of the addition of petrification to Neverwinter Nights, the cockatrice, gorgon and medusa. Of course we'll also be adding a new selection of potential henchmen to assist our hero. We're working hard to make these characters even more engaging than in the original campaign. Not all the henchmen will be available from the beginning, for example, some are tied to locations later in the game, and will be able to help players more with advice about their particular location.

The Shadows of Undrentide will be the first of several expansions for Neverwinter Nights. These expansions will be fully compatible with the Mac version of Neverwinter Nights. To read the full interview, follow the links below.

NWN Expansion Q&A
Neverwinter Nights
Buy Neverwinter Nights

XMines 1.0 Released
9:19 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

Dave Thorup of has recently released his shareware Minesweeper clone, XMines.

The OS X-only game features a native Cocoa interface, three difficulty levels, and even has the ability to change tile colors to a players' liking.

The shareware title requires Mac OS X 10.1, and sells for only $5 US. Click on the link below to download the game.

Download XMines

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Q&A With Ion Storm's Harvey Smith
9:19 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

German Deus Ex fansite DeusExZone has posted a brief Q&A with Harvey Smith, Ion Storm's Lead Designer.

In the interview, Harvey Smith touches on his past, his work with game developers Looking Glass and Ion Storm, his views on computer gaming, and expresses some of his thoughts on the Deus Ex franchise. Here's a quote:

Q: What was the most revolutionary thing of Deus Ex?

Harvey Smith: I'm not sure we did much that I'd call revolutionary. We wanted to make an RPG with a deep story. We wanted to create an atmospheric, immersive environment with a high degree of interactivity. We wanted to create a consistent environment that allowed for emergence as the result of the player's input. I think we succeeded at most of those things. But I can't think of anything we included that no other game had featured, which is how I'd define revolutionary. A better word for Deus Ex is "ambition."

Click on the link below to access the full interview.

DeusExZone: Harvey Smith Q&A
Ion Storm
Deus Ex

MacPlay Offers New Year's Specials
9:19 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Those with some money left over from the recent Christmas run may be interested in a New Year's Special, courtesy of MacPlay. Being offered are two game bundles, the first of which includes No One Lives Forever, Freedom Force, and Black & White for $99.99. The second, being offered for $49.99, includes Bejeweled & Alchemy, RealMyst, and Jinni Zeala Pinball.

Also being offered is a buy two, get one free deal for MacPlay's Value series. Those who purchase two Value titles will be sent a 3rd title, picked by MacPlay, as a free gift.

Those interested in taking advantage of these deals can find more information at MacPlay's online store.

MacPlay - New Year's Specials

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Shadowbane Release Date, Requirements Posted
9:19 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

Ubi Soft recently announced an official release date for their upcoming Massively Multiplayer Online RPG, Shadowbane. March 25 is now the day for both Mac and PC versions to ship, according to the latest press release. In addition, the game's web site has been completely re-done with a simpler interface and a flash intro.

For those unfamiliar with Shadowbane, it is a MMORPG in which characters for guilds to build cities, wage war against other cities, and shape the history of the world.

Along with the site update, Ubi Soft posted the minimum Mac system requirements for the game. They are:

G3 350 MHz or higher
128 MB RAM
1 GB free hard drive space
OS X version 10.1
CD-ROM drive
56Kbps modem connection
ATI Rage 128
Shadowbane is currently being developed for both Mac and PC by Wolfpack Studios. It is currently slated for a large scale beta to come before the March 25 release date. Stay tuned to IMG for more info on Shadowbane as it nears release.

Ubi Announces Shadowbane Ship Date
Wolfpack Studios

The Gamesome Mac Reports on Macworld Expo
9:19 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

Last night on The Gamesome Mac, the weekly Mac gaming radio program, hosts Sean Smith and Omaha Sternberg reported on the exciting Mac game products and news they saw and heard at Macworld Expo San Francisco 2003.

Also on this week's program, Omaha reviewed Warcraft III, the blockbuster real-time strategy game from Blizzard Entertainment.

You can hear the archive of this week's broadcast at The Gamesome Mac's web page, where you'll also find complete archives of past broadcasts.

The Gamesome Mac can be heard live on Mondays from 6 to 8 pm Pacific Time, 9 to 11 pm Eastern (Tuesdays at 0200 UTC) on QuickTime 5 or 6 and a 28 kbps or faster Internet connection are required.

Mac Games News for Monday, January 13, 2003

MWSF: My Macworld Expo 20032:32 PM
Phelios Releases Helix9:25 AM
Vendetta Updated to 3.1.79:09 AM
BioWare Mac NWN Status Update9:02 AM
MWSF: Mac Bowl 20038:48 AM
More on TeamSpeak6:00 AM
MWSF: MacSoft on Tropico Add-On, MoO3, NWN6:00 AM
MWSF: WWIIOnline at Macworld6:00 AM
QuickTime 6.1 Game Issues6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, January 13, 2003 on one page

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